Sunday, June 7, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair: Indie Art in the Park

Sunny skies and a 0 percent chance of rain: The perfect day to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge.

And when I learned that the two-day Renegade Craft Show would be held not far from the bridge's Brooklyn entrance, that only confirmed my belief that this was the stuff that makes up a perfect spring day in New York City.

As the name suggests, the Renegade isn't your typical craft show. No doilies or table runners in sight. Instead, more than 300 "indie crafters," as the website proclaims, lined McCarren Park in hipster-central Williamsburg with jewelry, clothing, notecards, artwork, pins and more.

An example of the "and more"

Needless to say, Paul wasn't exactly thrilled about being dragged to a craft show, but after securing a promise that he would be sure to spot some ironic t-shirts, he didn't even complain.

We arrived about two hours after the fair opened, and the park was packed. At some booths it was difficult to even see the wares.

I wore my beloved C-bus shirt, pretty secure in the knowledge that no one would be able to decipher it. In fact, two people commented. One, a girl from Pittsburgh, said she herself uses that abbreviation for Columbus. The other, a guy from Akron, was manning a booth filled with similar city- and state-specific tees and said the business had considered creating a C-bus shirt itself. Anyway, my attire seemed to fit right in with the crowd.

My C-Bus Shirt

With just a few exceptions, everything seemed to be below $100, and the majority of items were $50 or less. Some of the more interesting things I saw: food-centric jewelry (think necklace with a charm shaped like a piece of meat), buttons made from microfiche and a shop called "Get Felt Up!" featuring items made from, of course, felt.

After two hours of browsing, I walked away with a beautiful $15 necklace and tons of business cards. I hope to feature some of my favorite items on Thrifty Under Fifty in the coming weeks.

Alas, we were so tired after our (well, my) day of crafting, that we opted for the subway instead of our planned walk across the Williamsburg Bridge. The bridge will always be there, but Brooklyn, unfortunately, hosts the Renegade Craft Show only once a year.

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